Shell in Big Horn County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Carving a Course
The large, granite building blocks of Shell Canyon are an extraordinary 2.5 billion years old. Called basement or bedrock, they form the bottom layer covering the molten material in the earth’s core.
At some point, the huge plate of bedrock fractured – one side shifted up and the other dropped down in opposite directions, forming the first stage of the canyon. Stream water calls dramatic attention to the fault line – dropping sharply over the 75 foot ledge of Shell Falls.
The Granite of Shell Canyon
Listen. Can you hear the thunder? Feel the power? The power comes from water – confined narrowly by rock and pulled strongly by gravity.
The dynamic forces of water against rock move the mountain downstream one small piece at a time – exposing millions of years of geologic history.
Location. 44° 35.203′ N, 107° 36.899′ W. Marker is in Shell, Wyoming, in Big Horn County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 14, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Shell Falls Interpretive Site in Bighorn National Forest. Marker is in this post office area: Shell WY 82441, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lifeblood of the West (here, next to this marker); Oasis in the Desert (here, next to this marker); Hummingbirds (here, next to this marker); A 4,000 Mile Journey (a few steps from this marker); Forming Waterfalls (a few steps from this marker); Shaping a Canyon (a few steps from this marker); Moving Mountains (within shouting distance of this marker); Wildfire! (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shell.
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 5, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 233 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 5, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.